Participatory Governance

Contribution to major international processes

Together with partners such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the REC continued its contribution to the Eye on Earth Summit process, and in particular within the Access for All special initiative (A4A SI) (www.eyeonearthsummit.org/special-initiative-access-for-all). Under the umbrella of the A4A SI, the REC launched the project Building Bridges between Regions to facilitate the exchange of experience between the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) countries and stakeholders on the implementation of the Partnership for Principle 10 (PP10) and transfer experience related to Aarhus Convention negotiations and implementation to other regions.

The REC is actively participating in the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), and a representative of the REC was elected as a member of the of EaP CSF Steering Committee leading the Working Group on Environment, Climate Change and Energy Security (www.eap-csf.eu).

Supporting civil society

Within its mandate, the REC ensured comprehensive tailored and targeted support to more than 150 environmental civil society organisations (CSOs). Launched in 2012, three major multiannual CSO support projects were implemented, including the SECTOR project in Belarus and Moldova (www.sector.rec.org); the SENiOR-A project in Albania (www.senior-a.al); and SENSE in Serbia, all funded by the Government of Sweden. The assistance provided strengthened CSOs by contributing to their organisational and professional development; improving their knowledge, skills and capacities; and facilitating networking. Numerous grant schemes have been offered to beneficiaries, coupled with various demand-driven capacity-building activities, with the active involvement of local stakeholders. REC Slovenia acted as the intermediary body for the European Economic Area (EEA) Grant Scheme and for Swiss support to Slovenia.

Capacity building on the Aarhus Convention

The REC was recognised as a major actor in the provision of capacity building and institution strengthening under the Aarhus Convention at the 2013 capacity-building coordination meeting organised by the UNECE Aarhus Secretariat. Support to the implementation of the Aarhus Convention (www.aarhus.rec.org) in selected countries in SEE was provided within the ENVSEC Initiative and a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Environmental Agency. A toolkit on public participation has been published in four languages. Via trainings for judges, prosecutors and NGOs, the REC built knowledge on access to justice issues and on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice and the Compliance Committee. In a series of roundtable meetings, representatives of authorities, the judiciary and civil society discussed access to justice and identified major barriers and possible ways to overcome them. 

Applying the Aarhus Convention in Radioactive Waste Management

Within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) project Implementing Public Participation Approaches in Radioactive Waste Disposal, the REC, together with its partners, carried out background research on key challenges for the implementation of Aarhus Convention requirements in the field of radioactive waste management in five Central European countries. Identified issues, existing gaps and barriers, as well as good practices observed, are reflected in the final report Decision Making for the Future. Applying the Aarhus Convention in Radioactive Waste Management and were also presented during the series of European roundtables on Aarhus Convention and nuclear issues.

STAKEHOLDER TO STAKEHOLDER: Guided assistance to CSOs grows skills and capacities, facilitates networking, and contributes to overall organisational and professional development